Views From Kennewick

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wandering, Wondering, Enjoying the View

It's difficult. Trying to keep it all together, or partially together when all around you appears to be spinning out of control... in that wild exuberance we feel when a whole new world of possibilities opens up.

The mind churns out ideas a tape recorder couldn't possibly keep up with. Ideas at the speed of sound. Trying to grab onto them is nearly impossible, at the same time, you can't help but keep a huge grin on your face as you see the possibilities bear fruit.

Considering the above, this post will make absolutely no sense, but stick with me for a while and read on...

I'd planned to write a bit more about Kennewick, but got to thinking today of books, and writers and who I enjoyed reading the most. Before the internet came into my life, I read up to 5 books a week. I could not get enough. I'd read anything I could get my hands on. Sadly, very little of it has stuck in my mind.

Let's hope it's not some gawd-awful brain thing.

My all time favorite writer is someone you've probably never heard of. Lewis Grizzard. Marvelous writer that could make you laugh till you nearly wet your pants, and take you to tears in the same paragraph.

I highly recommend "Elvis is Dead, and I Don't Feel So Good Myself"...if you can find it. Sadly, many of his books are out of print. If you're so lucky as to get your hands on a copy, do NOT lend it out, you'll never see it again. I loved his writing so much I bought a few extra copies to "share." They shared allright, where they ended up I'm not sure, but they probably brought many people into Grizzardom.

Truth be known, I wanted to marry Grizzard, even though I was already married.

When I moved from Austin to Tucson, to my dismay, the Tucson paper didn't carry Grizzard's column!! HORRORS! I called, I begged, I pleaded with the paper to carry his column. My plea fell on deaf ears. They never did pick it up. In desperation, I called my mother, and for about a year, she sent me his columns every week.

I treasured them. I worked at the hospital and put them up for the other nurses to enjoy. Sometimes I'd spot surgeons reading, chuckling, rubbing chins in quiet contemplation. The staff would talk about the latest column, it was a pleasant diversion from heavy responsibility.

It became a welcome respite and ritual. We loved it when Grizzard talked about his black lab, Catfish. Grizzard had that fine Southern charm and quick Yankee wit all rolled into one fabulous writer. You can't help but laugh at a dog named Catfish.

One quiet night, just after I put up the latest column, the Charge Nurse looked at me oddly. She leaned over and said, "He died today." I thought she was talking about a certain patient. But she wasn't. Lewis Grizzard darn fine writer and owner of a dog named Catfish, died earlier in the day, complications of a heart transplant.

And so it goes.

Like Kennedy, Elvis, Princess Diana, your parents, or friends. People you never knew, but you'll always remember, and your heart becomes a little bit smaller. But when you think of them, you think of those beautiful memories. The words that inspire. Words that made you laugh, love, enjoy...and for their part in your life, overflows the wellspring of gratitude.


  • Hey Chris,
    I have 3 Grizzard books and love them. I also love Dave Barry books but I'm sure I wouldn't want to marry him.

    By Blogger Holly Goldman, at 8:41 PM  

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